Xu Yiming

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In May 2003, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) held a grand ceremony in the United States to award a prize to Xu Yiming, the former head coach of the Chinese diving team. The International Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale added Xu's fingerprints and footprints. He thus became the first Chinese coach to win this honor in the international sports world. For decades, he devoted himself to the sport of diving in China and the world, and made a tremendous contribution to the development of the sport with his brilliant accomplishments.

Born in a small town on the Leizhou Peninsula near Zhenjiang in Guangdong Province in 1942, he became an amateur diver at 15. He won his first gold medal in the men's platform event at a national contest in 1972. In the following year, he became a coach of the Chinese diving team. Before long, he had improved the safety belt, ground bouncing net, underwater dust absorber and other training facilities for divers. In order to raise the level of difficulty in training he introduced the half-meter springboard to increase training safety and make the training exercises more scientific. It is precisely at these original safety facilities that the young divers have avoided the dangers of being injured and been relieved of their worries. They very quickly improved the complexity of their dives to reach the current top world level. For this reason, Xu has received exceptionally good feedback in the diving world.

Xu's name is recorded on every page of the record of merits of the modern Chinese sport of diving. Among the top divers he trained are: Li Kongzheng, bronze medal winner in the men's platform at the 1984 Olympic Games and silver medal winner in the men's platform at the 1986 World Championships; Shi Meiqin, gold medal winner in the women's springboard competition at the 1981 World Cup; Tan Liangde, three-time silver medal winner in the men's springboard competition at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games; Zhou Jihong, gold medal winner in the women's platform event at the 1984 Olympic Games; Chen Lin, gold medal winner in the women's platform event at the 1986 World Championships; Xu Yanmei, gold medal winner in the women's platform event at the 1988 Olympic Games; Gao Min, twice gold medal winner in the women's springboard competition at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic games; Sun Shuwei, gold medal winner in the men's platform event at the 1992 Olympic Games; Fu Mingxia, twice gold medal winner in the women's platform event at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and twice gold medal winner in the women's springboard competition at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games; Xiong Ni, gold medal winner in the men's springboard competition at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games; and Tian Liang, gold medal winner in the men's platform event at the 2000 Olympic Games.